Published on 09/03/2018

School's in Session

Cranial Translation
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He has tenure and the respect of the students.
Hiya everyone, and welcome back to another class here at Cranial University. It's the start of a new semester here (although we run classes all year), and it's nice to see some friendly faces with us. Let's get started with today's lesson. If everyone could open their textbooks to Chapter 13, Section 22, we'll get started on today's lesson.

While we can't take any questions while class is running, we are available to ask questions you may have after class. We might even use your question in a future course. If you have a short question, you can Tweet it to us at @CranialTweet. Or if you have a longer question, you can e-mail us at . Now everyone be quiet so we can begin today's lesson.

Q: If I cast Switcheroo targeting my Departed Deckhand and my opponent's Colossal Dreadmaw, will I still gain control of my opponent's Dreadmaw even though my Deckhand is sacrificed?

A: Nope, you won't gain control of it. In order for an exchange to happen, both creatures that would be exchanged have to be legal targets when the exchange happens. In this case, since the Deckhand was targeted by a spell, you sacrificed the Deckhand before Switcheroo resolves. When Switcheroo goes to resolve, it sees that only one of the target is legal, so the exchange does not happen and you will not gain control of your opponent's Dreadmaw.

Q: If I have a bestowed Herald of Torment in play, will it count as one of the four demons I need to control in order to win the game with Liliana's Contract's upkeep trigger?

A: No it will not. Only creatures and card with tribal can have creature types. When the Herald is an aura, since it's no longer a creature, it does not have the demon creature type. Until the Herald stops being an aura and turns back into a creature, it will not count as one of the four unique demons you need to control to win the game with Liliana's Contract's trigger.

Q: My opponent just cast Scapeshift, putting a Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle and six Mountains into play. Can I use Deflecting Palm to redirect all 18 damage back at my opponent?

A: No you cannot. Valakut trigger six times, each trigger dealing three damage to the target. Valakut doesn't trigger one time for one lump sum of damage. Deflecting Palm only prevents the next time the source would deal damage to you this turn, not every time it would deal damage. You can use the Palm to deflect the damage from one of the triggers back at your opponent, but the Palm won't do anything about the other five triggers, and you'll still take damage from those triggers like normal.

Q: I have a Spellskite in play, and my opponent cast Vines of Vastwood targeting it. Now they're claiming that I can't use Spellskite to change the target of their spells this turn. Are they right?

A: Nope, they're wrong. While Vines of the Vastwood may seem like it gives the targeted creature hexproof, it doesn't, because it behaves differently than hexproof if you target an opponent's creature. The player that cast the Vines can still target the chosen creature, but their opponents cannot target the creature. That means that if your opponent cast the Vines on your creature, your opponent can still target the creature with their spells and abilities, but you cannot target the creature, even if you control the targeted creature. Since your opponent's spells can still target Spellskite, you're free to use Spellskite on their spells like normal.

Q: If I have a Naban, Dean of Iteration in play and I cast Mistbind Clique, what happens?

A: The Clique has an enter the battlefield trigger, so Naban causes it to trigger twice. Naban doesn't care that you don't really want it to trigger twice, it will still trigger twice. What that means is that you'll have to exile two Faeries when the Clique enters instead of one. If you don't exile two, then the Clique will be sacrificed.

On the other hand, if you're in a multiplayer game and can exile two Faeries, the Clique's other ability would trigger two times instead of once, and you'd be able to tap the lands of two different players.

When your class doesn't show up, just summon them yourself.

Q: Can I activate Aether Vial's ability even if I don't have a creature card to put onto the battlefield?

A: Sure, that's a valid bluff. There's no requirement that you have to have a creature card in your hand to activate the Vial's ability. You can activate it, then when the ability resolves, choose to put nothing onto the battlefield (this is true even if you have a creature card in your hand that you could put onto the battlefield). This might force your opponent to make a response to the ability without knowing that you intend to do nothing with the ability when it resolves.

Q: If I have a Lightning Mauler paired with a Bear Cub, then I play an Alpine Grizzly, can I choose to break the pair with the Mauler and the Cub so the Mauler can pair with the Grizzly?

A: Nope, you can't do that. Once the Mauler is paired with a creature, they remain paired as long as you control both creatures. You can't choose to break a pair just because a better creature came along. Unless you can get rid of the Bear Cub, the Mauler will remain paired with it, and you can't choose to pair it with the Alpine Grizzly when it enters the battlefield.

Q: My opponent is controlling my turn thanks to Mindslaver, and makes me cast my Serum Visions. Can I still see what they're scrying and what they're putting on the top and/or bottom of my library?

A: Yep, you still get to see what "you're" scrying. While they are controlling your turn, you still get to see everything that you normally get to see. That means that if your opponent makes you cast Serum Visions, you get to see what two cards are being scried, and you'll also know which of them ends up on top of your library and which ones end up on the bottom. Your opponent is just controlling your turn, they can't deny you information that you would normally have access to.

Q: If my opponent has a Confusion in the Ranks in play and I cast Pacifism, what happens when the Pacifism enters the battlefield? Does my opponent gain control of it and gets to move it to a new creature?

A: When Pacifism enters the battlefield, the Ranks will trigger, and you'll choose an enchantment controlled by a different player. When the Rank's trigger resolves, you'll exchange control of the Pacifism and the targeted enchantment. However, nothing says that your opponent gets to move the aura to a new creature, so while your opponent will gain control of Pacifism, they won't be able to change what it's attached to, and it will stay attached to the creature you cast it on. In short - your opponent got a Pacifism that's attached to their creature, and you hopefully stole a more useful enchantment for yourself.

Q: I have a Painter's Servant out, naming red. My opponent goes to equip their Sword of Fire and Ice to one of their creatures. What happens?

A: The Sword becomes attached for a brief time, then unattaches. Painter's Servant makes all of their permanents red. That includes their Sword of Fire and Ice. They're free to activate the equip ability, and it will resolve just fine. However, once the Sword becomes attached, the creature has protection from red, and since the Sword is red thanks to the Servant, state-based actions will cause the Sword to unattach.

This doesn't do much to the creature, but it could be used to clear off any other auras or equipment that are attached to the creature (since they'll also unattach due to protection at the same time the Sword becomes unattached).

Q: If I have a Fist of Suns in play and I want to cast Autochthon Wurm, can I use the Fist and tap five creatures (one of each color) to cast it?

A: Yep, you can. Fist of the Suns lets you cast the Wurm by paying instead of its normal mana cost. Convoke isn't an alternate cost, it just lets you tap your creatures to help pay for the spell. You can cast the Wurm by using the Fist's alternate cost, and if you five creatures (one of each color), you can tap them for convoke to cast the Wurm.

Q: I have a Warstorm Surge in play and a Blightsteel Colossus enters the battlefield under my control. If I target my opponent with the trigger, will they take normal damage or infect damage?

A: They'll take infect damage. While the Surge's trigger is targeting the player, it's actually the creature that just entered the battlefield that's dealing the damage. If you target your opponent with the Surge trigger, when the trigger resolves, they take 11 damage from the Colossus. But since the Colossus has infect, your opponent will get 11 poison counters, and are going to lose the game since they now have 10 or more poison counters.

Let's talk about balancing your coursework.

Q: If I activate Mangara of Corondor's ability, but I respond with Acrobatic Maneuver on Mangara, what happens? Is my opponent's permanent still exiled?

A: Not only is their permanent exiled, but you get to keep Mangara around for another use. Unlike similar abilities, Mangara isn't exiled until the ability resolves, not when you activate the ability. That means there's a time where Mangara's ability is on the stack, but Mangara is still on the battlefield. You can respond to the ability by casting the Maneuver to exile and return Mangara. The Mangara that's on the battlefield now is a different permanent than the one that activated the ability, so the returned Mangara will not be exiled when the ability resolves. And assuming your opponent's permanent is still a legal target, it will be exiled. In short, you've kept your Mangara to use again, but your opponent's permanent has been exiled.

Q: If I have a Tandem Lookout paired with a Reckless Fireweaver, can I cast Sensei's Divining Top and put it back on top of my library before I would draw from the Lookout trigger?

A: Yep, that works. The Fireweaver triggers when the Top enters the battlefield. When that trigger resolves, it deals one damage to your opponent, and that causes the trigger the Fireweaver gained from the Lookout to trigger. You can either respond to the enter the battlefield trigger of the Fireweaver or the damage trigger gained by the Lookout by activating the Top's last ability to put the Top on top of your library so you can draw it from the Lookout's trigger (and then repeat the process).

Q: If I have a Karmic Justice in play along with some planeswalkers, and my opponent casts Magmaquake to kill my planeswalkers, will the Justice trigger and let me destroy some of their permanents?

A: Nope, the Justice won't trigger at all. This goes back to the old saying "Lightning Bolts don't kill creatures, state-based actions kill creatures".

Magmaquake, while it may seem like it's killing the planeswalker, isn't actually responsible for the planeswalker going to the graveyard. The planeswalker is going to the graveyard because, when state-based actions are checked once Magmaquake is done resolving, the game sees a planeswalker with zero loyalty counters on it and it goes to the graveyard. It's going to the graveyard due to state-based actions, not because of an opponent's spell or ability, so your Justice will not trigger and you won't get to destroy anything in return.

Q: My opponent has a Phyrexian Metamorph in their graveyard. If I cast Spoils of Evil, will it count the Metamorph once or twice?

A: Just once. The Spoils only cares if the card is an artifact or creature card. It doesn't care if it's both types. Phyrexian Metamorph is both types, but since the Spoils doesn't care if it's both types, it's only counted once so you'll only get one mana and one life from the opponent's Metamorph. If it could count them twice, then it would be worded similar to War Report, which counts creatures, then counts artifacts, and then adds those numbers together.

Q: I use Saheeli, the Gifted's second +1 ability to reduce the cost of my next spell by 15 (I have a lot of servo tokens, ok?). I want to cast Blightsteel Colossus at a discount, but I also want to use mana from Hall of the Bandit Lord to give it haste. Do I have to use the full discount from Saheeli?

A: Applying the discount from Saheeli's ability is not optional. You must apply it to the spell, and you can't just accept part of the discount, you have to accept the entire discount. Unless you can get rid of a few of your artifacts before you cast the Colossus, the cost of the Colossus won't require any mana, and you won't be ablo to use the mana from the Hall to cast it (and thus you will not be able to give the Colossus haste).

Q: If I'm in a multiplayer game, can I cast Tangle, even if I'm not being attacked, just to mess with another player's combat?

A: Yep, you can do that. There's nothing that says you can only play Tangle if a creature is attacking you, so you're free to cast it during another player's combat. This might be useful if you want to save an opponent from taking damage, or if you want to prevent the attacking creatures from untapping. If you're just interested in preventing the creatures from untapping, you could even let combat damage be dealt, then cast Tangle before the combat phase is over to prevent the attacking creatures from untapping.

Q: If I bring my 10 year old son to FNM, can I sit next to him during his match and help him out with his match?

A: No you cannot. That's Outside Assistance, which is against the rules of Magic. Your son is free to play at a sanctioned event like FNM, but they have to be able to play on their own - they cannot solicit advice from other people, and other people cannot tell him what to do during the match. You're free to talk to them about their games once their match is over, but you can't give them any advice while they're actually sitting at and playing their match.

Q: I plan on using some checklist cards in my deck to represent my Jace, Vryn's Prodigy. Can I black out the rest of the card and just leave Jace's name untouched to show what the checklist card is representing?

A: Sure, that sounds fine. The checklist card needs to be marked in some way to show what double-faced card the checklist card is representing. If you black out the rest of the checklist card and just leave Jace's name alone, it seems clear that the checklist card is representing Jace, not another double-faced card, so you should be ok.

That's all we have for today. Feel free to use the rest of the period as a study hall, and we'll see you again next week!


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